At the 2019 Annual General Meeting held in July 2020, members agreed to release a portion of the funds held in the Research and Development Fund and the Col. By Gravesite Maintenance Funds (in total, approximately $30,000) to support community projects over the next few years. In response, and at the request of the membership, your Board of Directors has developed a process and a set of criteria which will be used to select community projects going forward. These criteria include relevance to the HSO’s mandate, cost, and the availability of volunteers to carry the project through to completion. The Society might also consider working with other heritage organizations on a project as a way of leveraging its resources.
Community projects are not new to the Society, and can take many forms. The HSO’s operation of the Bytown Museum from 1917 to 2006 could be considered as an example of a very long-term community project. Similarly, the Society’s funding and installation of a statue of Lieutenant Colonel John By in 1971 in Major’s Hill Park is another example of a community project, albeit a large one! Historical displays, or the support of research into Ottawa’s history, might also qualify as community projects.
The Board eagerly awaits the suggestions and the support of HSO members in this new, and exciting chapter in the life of our Society.
Current Community Project: The Crawley Plaque
Following the 2017 presentation by George Shirreff on the contribution of Frank “Budge” and Judith Crawley into making Ottawa a centre for producing world-class films during the mid-twentieth century, the Society decided that it would install a bilingual plaque at 19 Fairmont Avenue in Hintonburg, the headquarters of Crawley Films, in honour of the Crawley family. Discussions have been held with the Crawley family, the current occupants of the building, and the City of Ottawa. Delayed in part owing to the COVID-19 emergency, we hope to dedicate the plaque in 2021.
- Canvass the membership asking for project ideas that are consistent with the HSO’s mandate;
- Ask whether the person making the suggestion is willing to either lead or participate in a committee tasked to detail the idea, identify potential challenges, determine the likely cost, estimate a timeline, and to carry out the project to completion if it is selected (i.e. be that idea’s “champion”);
- Send suggestions to a Board Selection Committee for vetting. If there are a lot of suggestions, the Committee may need to make a preliminary pass to reduce the numbers by winnowing out those suggestions that are inconsistent with our mandate or which have no obvious champion. All other suggestions would be examined in greater detail. After a period of time, the Board Selection Committee would reassemble to make their project recommendations. The choice of project(s) would depend on: a) relevance to the mission and objectives of the Society; b) estimated cost; c) other feasibility considerations; d) time-frame; e) the availability of somebody to take the lead on the project; and f) backup.
- The Board Selection Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors’ decision will be final.
- The call for ideas and the selection process would be posted on our website and highlighted through social media.